Selling Fireworks for Life
"You're celebrating the independence but you're also celebrating someone's future," he explained.
Fireworks For Life is a non-profit, mid-Missouri-based organization that's donating half its net proceeds to help transplant patients and their families.
"This isn't about the folks who have $10,000 deductibles," said Ken Askren, Fireworks For Life board chairman. "This is about the folks who are working at the factories. This is about the folks who don't have insurance, or enough insurance, to pay for the catastrophic cost of extending their life."
Volunteer Mark Martin added, "We're not just selling fireworks for the fun and for the profit. We're doing it to help those families going through the transplant process."
Edwards has been through the process. His son, Tim, needed a liver transplant, so his brother donated 70% of his. The transplant went well, but doctors found cancer in Tim's colon during surgery.
"He said it felt like someone put a gun to his face and pulled the trigger and it went click," said Jim.
Doctors contained Tim's cancer and he survived, although the transplant operation cost $300,000.
So, Edwards is selling fireworks not only to light up the sky, but also for life.
"When you go home at night, do me a favor," he said. "When you tuck your kids in, tell them you love them. And remember one thing, it could happen to you."
Fireworks for Life stands are at Columbia's Busenbark Carpet off Interstate 70, at Fayette's Derailed Commodities on Highway 40, at Moberly's Family Life Fellowship on Highway 24, and at Boonville's Fame Auto on Route B and Logan's Road.